Friday, February 29, 2008

Jobs, Jobs, Jobs… or --- Profits, Profits, Profits?

Link for more information:

Kennecott lawsuit filed

Several groups sue the DNR for granting a permit.

Posted: Thursday, February 28, 2008 at 10:04 p.m.

INGHAM COUNTY (AP) -- Opponents of a nickel and copper mine in Upper Michigan aren't giving up their fight. They've filed another legal challenge.

Opponents sued the Michigan Department of Natural Resources Thursday. The DNR approved Kennecott Minerals' plans earlier this month and agreed to lease 120 acres of state land for the mine's surface facilities.

The suit was filed in Ingham County Circuit Court by the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community, the Huron Mountain Club, the National Wildlife Federation and the Yellow Dog Watershed Preserve.

They also sued the state Department of Environmental Quality in December after it approved the mine, which would be located in Marquette County.


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Agree with fellow miner for Kennecott

I as a son of a former miner, who retired from one of the local respectable iron mines in the area. I would have to agree with the fellow miner who mentioned, let there be a mine in our backyard.

Reason for saying it, right now with the economy and many of our children who attend Michigan colleges and universities (myself included); are forced to leave state of Michigan because of the work leaving Michigan.

Look at many towns that had a mine in its backdoor, all were successful with economy. Now with those mines left, the communities are all virtually ghost-towns if already. Besides, mines have to follow strict and clean guidelines, otherwise have to pay a hefty fine, plus clean up the mess.

My point is, if you want your brothers, sisters, children, and others have to leave the state of Michigan and look for work, then its your economy going elsewhere. Think about it...

Concerned Yooper
— Marvin Kytola, Arizona


Let them put a minine in my back yard!! I've been mining for a while now and i've seen the DEQ in action it is so unbelievable how close they monitor us.So let it go-Michigan has to get on it feet again!!

— U.P MINER, Manistique

Huron Mountain Protesters

If the Huron Mountain group has the clout to help stop Kennecott from poisoning and ruining such a beautiful pristine area, then all the power to them. I don't see enough people in the area standing behind the environmentalists to help stop what will be irreversible destruction. If you want to keep Marquette County the amazingly clean and incredibly beautiful place that it is, then put your 'weight behind the wheel' along with the others and help stop this project. For, once it's gone, it's gone.

— Abby de Roche, Ishpeming

The Huron Mountain Club should talk...

I find it rather funny (not really), that the Huron Mountain Club is saying anything for or against this potential mine. For a group of out of state people who already control enough land amongst themselves to be getting in the way of our economic development is just plain wrong. I invite them to open the gates to heaven and let all the local and visiting sportsman in to get a taste of the true U.P. paradise they are hording for their selfish, sometimes visiting selves. But we all know that will never happen, so maybe they should stay out of U.P. affairs unless they are ready to truly contribute to them.

— tom clark, gwinn

Jobs, Jobs, Jobs… or --- Profits, Profits, Profits?

Every time there is a very legitimate environmental concern, as there definitely is with this sulfide mining operation, someone starts yelling, "Jobs, Jobs, Jobs."

There are plenty of jobs.

All across the U.P. thousands of workers are employed in loud, noisy, smoke-filled casinos receiving poverty wages while working long hours without any rights under State or Federal Labor Laws in the Indian Gaming Industry, which is nothing but a front for organized crime and mobsters.

The problem is corporations are dictating the terms of these jobs.

Cut the work week to 32 hours... pay everyone for 40 hours based on a real living wage.

Make every job a good job, either through a union contract; or, raise the minimum wage to a real living wage based on what the United States Department of Labor calculates a living annual income to be, together with good social programs like socialized health care and free public education right through college.

I never heard of a boss yet who didn't want workers to work more hours for less pay.

It’s time that the working class gets organized and fights for real social and economic justice for all workers.

If employers don't want to treat workers right--- with respect--- and pay decent wages and provide good working conditions and benefits along with shorter hours, then let them do the jobs themselves.

At some point we need to look at this situation and become aware that a job doesn't mean anything if the results of what you do--- and how you do it--- is going to destroy our living environment and us right along with it.

Kennecott doesn't do anything for the good of workers or the good of communities. This multi-national corporation has a proven track record of leaving behind environmental disasters and injured workers.

What is really at issue is not--- "Jobs, Jobs, Jobs;" but, "Profits, Profits, Profits."

If government can't be trusted to work for the good of the community and the environment than people are going to have to step forward and take the kind of direct action required... this is what democracy is all about.

As I travel through Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan all I see is our living environment and ecosystems being destroyed and huge pits and messes along with massive clear-cuts along with joblessness, poverty and despair--- continuing to do things in the same way by giving these corporations complete control to come in and truck away the profits while we end up paying to clean up the messes--- when they can be cleaned up--- is no solution.

Any government that will allow thousands of people to go to work in smoke-filled casinos without any rights isn't going to give two hoots about making sure a corporation like Kennecott is a "good corporate citizen."

Abraham Lincoln said it best on November 21, 1864, "Corporations have been enthroned and an era of corruption in high places will follow." This sulfide mining dispute sure substantiates Lincoln's observation.

Alan L. Maki

Director of Organizing,
Midwest Casino Workers Organizing Council

Member, Sierra Club - North Star Chapter

Member, State Central Committee, Minnesota Democratic Farmer-Labor Party